Nokia Lumia 720 review: first look
Nokia’s has announced two new Windows Phone 8 smartphones at MWC 2013, but of the pair it was the more upmarket Lumia 720 that caught our attention the most when we got some hands-on time with it at the Nokia stand.
It’s still aimed at the budget-conscious crowd, with a price that comes in at a similar level to the excellent Nexus 4, and yet still boasts high-end features. The first thing we noticed when we picked it up was how slim and light it is: it’s only 9mm thick and weighs a mere 128g. That’s not much heavier than the iPhone 5, which has a significantly smaller screen, and it’s a far cry from the massive bulk of the flagship Lumia 920.
It’s comfortable to hold as well, with curved edges all round, rather than the sharp edges of the Lumia 920. Nokia has even found room in the budget to specify a Gorilla Glass screen that curves over where it meets the unibody, and a polycarbonate case, further enhancing the phone’s premium feel. “Sculpted glass” is what Nokia calls it, and it’s a nice touch at this price. The screen also benefits from Nokia’s glare-reducing ClearBlack coating, and presents punchy, colourful images.
In terms of buttons, the 720 is cut from the same cloth as the rest of the Lumia range, with the volume rocker, power and camera buttons all sitting on the right-hand edge. A slightly recessed 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top edge, and there’s a surprise waiting on the left hand side — a microSD slot capable of accepting up to 64GB of extra storage, just as well, as there’s a mere 8GB of internal flash memory.
The Lumia 720 doesn’t have the latest cutting edge, quad-core CPU tech, with only a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 chip inside, accompanied by a low-looking 512MB. However, as with all the Windows Phone 8 handsets we’ve tested in the past, the 720 felt highly responsive in our short time with it, reacting to taps, swipes and pinches with buttery smooth alacrity.
And with the Lumia 720, along with the core Windows Phone 8 OS you’re also getting the usual suite of preinstalled Nokia apps. These includes the rebranded Here mapping tools — Here Maps, Here Transit and the Here Drive satnav — the free streaming jukebox Nokia Music app, plus a selection of software lenses for the camera. In another sensible move, Nokia has now integrated the City Lens augmented reality tool into the camera.
So far, we’re impressed with this new smartphone from Nokia. It’s shrugged off the bulk and heaviness of the 820 and 920 phones, and packs a decent feature set in for the price.
There are two disappointments, though. First, there’s no 4G support for the Lumia 720 — it’s a 3G only handset — and second is that Nokia still hasn’t trickled down its high megapixel PureView sensor technology to the Lumia range, instead including a 6.7-megapixel snapper on the rear with Carl Zeiss optics, a single LED flash, and a wide-angle 1.3-megapixel shooter on the front.